California Dreaming: The Styleliner Heads to LA

November 15, 2013

It’s hard not to notice a huge accessories-filled truck made over to look like a trunk that might be boarding the Queen Mary 2. So when the the Styleliner parks just outside The Standard and right next to our Meatpacking headquarters in New York, we take note, And it’s all we can do not to sneak out and peruse the treasures that partners Joey Wolffer and Sara Droz find all over the world. Now, we are so excited for our friends in Los Angeles that the Styleliner has opened a truck in their neck of the woods.

To celebrate, we caught up with Styleliner Founder and Creative Director, Joey Wolffer, for the scoop on the new LA truck and a bit about the colorful journey that has taken her West.

For the most up to date info on where to find the traveling truck on either coast, follow @thestyleliner on Twitter!

What’s the premise and goal of the Styleliner?

I started the Styleliner in June 2010 with the goal of changing the face of retail. I knew that I wanted to build my own brand, but couldn’t face the thought of being stuck in a bricks and mortar. At the time food trucks were exploding and twitter was becoming an important social tool. I loved the idea of bringing fashion to the customer. I had previously worked as a Trend Director for the Jones Group and having traveled for my job, I knew there were some incredible designers that weren’t being sold in the US. My goal product wise was to travel and bring unique, high quality global designers to the US everything from the hippie markets in Ibiza and RIo to the luxury trade shows in Europe.

I began the Styleliner in the Hamptons. In the beginning the concept was very much around private trunk shows, charity events, parties and by appointment. When Sara came on board in November 2011, we really began to spread out to different cities, taking it to NYC, Palm Beach and Washington DC. We love taking the Styleliner to cities like DC where there is nothing like it and yet there are people who want to shop! We want our customer to feel that they are always discovering something different and fresh. I want them to feel like I do when I travel to find the designers and product.

After New York, what drew you to LA?

LA was something Sara has wanted to do ever since we partnered in November 2011. LA really lends itself to our business model for several reasons. Firstly the cities of Santa Monica, Culver City and Beverly hills give permits for fashion trucks and are very encouraging to small businesses like ours. Secondly, our style and product is so LA, it really suits the laid back, Bohemian vibe that is Santa Monica. Ever since I began the business, customers have been saying that we must go to LA. So, here we are!

How would you compare New York and LA style?

I think a lot of the way people dress in both cities is a reflection of the weather and overall setting. I see LA as a beach city and mountain city, it’s overall much more outdoors and thus the style is so much more laid back. Denim and leather are predominant amongst both men and women. They either dress up for galas or are really casual in both work and day-to-day life. In New York, there are so many different looks. There’s high fashion, there’s street fashion, there’s what you wear to work, there’s vintage, there’s expensive clothing, there’s uptown and downtown, but overall people dress up more.

What was the most fun about the big “LA makeover” of the truck?

The most exciting part is that it means we are expanding! But also, having spent 3 1/2 years with the NY truck, we were able to make a list of things we wanted to do differently in the LA truck. This truck, for example, has two doors, one in front one in back which gives it a lot more flow especially when there are a lot of people on the truck. We also added a lot of lighting, which is something we have struggled with in the NY truck. It’s truly a feat to take a truck from a bare bones box truck to a beautiful boutique and that is exciting!

What are some of your favorite places in LA?

We love Santa Monica and Venice. Sara is actually moving to an apartment right near the beach in Venice. It feels like you are in a really cool beach town and there is a great group of people living around there…For restaurants, we love Flake on Rose Ave for their delicious breakfast, Feed in Abbot Kinney for their healthy and organic dinner, and Cafe Gratitude for their amazing smoothies. Morning yoga at Exhale is a must. I also think the General Store on Lincoln has fabulous accessories for the home as well as cool vintage finds. Another classic fave is the monthly Rose Bowl Flea Market.

How would you compare the New York and LA trucks?

The NY and LA trucks physically look identical minus the small improvements! Product wise, both trucks will carry similar items but LA will definitely cater to the more laid back, bohemian lifestyle while NY will stick to its still bohemian yet glam and sophisticated look. Our brand, however, will be consistent on both coasts. We are also launching our own brand/designs that will be represented on both coasts…think handbags, t-shirts, and jewelry that truly reflect a combination of high quality, travel and design.

You’ve traveled the world sourcing the best for your trucks… what’s next?

Well, I just got back from an amazing trip to Istanbul, Ibiza, Mallorca, and Barcelona. Exploring the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul was a major highlight as well as the hippie market in Ibiza. The LA truck is truly a reflection of my recent travels. It is glowing with bright colored embroideries, beading and tassels. The next trip I think will be Goa in the spring!

Any travel or packing tips or tricks from someone who is always on the go?

Try to pack light, I never do, but it’s my dream to master it…It’s essential to bring luggage that you can carry yourself. I always bring one rolling suitcase and one to wear over my shoulder. Always bring clean wipes, especially when shopping the markets! Pack 3 pairs of shoes max, you don’t need more even if you think you do. A friend also recently taught me that rolling your clothes allows you to fit more into a smaller space!

Does the Styleliner team have mantras or words they live by?

We really try to stick to our guns and never ever take “no” as a final answer. By starting a fashion truck, we went against the grain of traditional retail. There really isn’t anything you can’t do. You just have to think outside the box and work really hard to make it happen.

 

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